All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

176

Michael Kaeshammer: Kaeshammer

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
It doesn't take a Charles Darwin to realize that the true evolutionary inheritors of Frank Sinatra's and Peggy Lee's brand of "popular" music were Elton John and Billy Joel, and not Harry Connick, Jr. or Michael Buble, the latter being more keepers of the flame than the former innovators. Had popular music not dissembled into the current confused concoction of country, rock and hip-hop, where might it have ended up? At the door of German/Canadian Michael Kaeshammer, that's where.

Kaeshammer debuted with Blue Keys (Alma Records) in 1996. Since that time, he has released six more recordings, including this eponymous release. The staggering reality of Kaeshammer is the fact that so much talent—composing, singing, instrumental chops, and arranging—comes so densely packed in a single person. It seems inconceivable that with such a discography, including Kaeshammer in particular, the singer is not more widely known. Because this is music more infectious than the flu.

Kaeshammer's stylistic range is as deep as it is wide, ranging from the stride piano of the 1930s Willie "The Lion" Smith ("Tightrope") to the Fender Rhodes of the Faces' Ian McLagan ("Kisses in Zanzibar") and singing from 1920's show tunes (an inspired and revamped "Love Me or Leave Me") to the Christopher Cross-meets-Bruce Hornsby style on "Remedy." Ray Charles, Leon Russell, Lindsey Buckingham, Elton John, Don Henley, and so on are all here in a sound that can only be called Kaeshammer's own.

Kaeshammer's songwriting is evenly informed by the last 70 years of popular music. The disc opener, "Rendezvous," recalls Billy Joel's An Innocent Man (Columbia, 1983) period, where "Kisses in Zanzibar" and "Shalimar Wind" brilliantly mined the same stylistic vein tapped by Barry Manilow without that singer's Las Vegas baggage. Kaeshammer digs deep on the disc's spiritual center, a churchy, Gene Harris-inspired instrumental performance of Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready." The pianist shares solo space with bassist Marc Rogers, the two weaving a thoroughly modern cover of this already well-covered song. A master of drama, Kaeshammer tells a story with this old song.

Artists of the breadth of Kaeshammer no longer exist. They are too often drowned out by the lowest common denominator conventional wisdom ruling what is popular and what is not. Kaeshammer brings things back to the basics: superior musicianship and exceptional songwriting. If only Sinatra lived so long to hear this.

Track Listing: Rendezvous; Kisses in Zanzibar; A Little Bit of Love; Tightrope; The You- and-Me; People Get Ready; Heartbeat; Shalimar wind; Love Me or Leave Me; Remedy.

Personnel: Personnel: Michael Kaeshammer: vocals, keyboards; Marc Rogers: acoustic and electric basses; Mark Mclean: drums, percussion; Roger Tracassos: drums, percussion; Davide Direnzo: percussion; William Sperandei: trumpet; William Carn: trombone; Gord Meyers: trombone; Perry White: tenor saxophone; Kelly Jefferson: tenor saxophone; Chris Gale: tenor saxophone; Justin Abedin : guitars; Joel Parisien: background vocals; Andrea Koziol: background vocals; Karen Graves: violin, Rebekah Wolkstein: violin; Drew Jurecka: violin; Ron LoPata: Hammond B3 organ.

Title: Kaeshammer | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Alert Music

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Love Me Or Leave Me

Love Me Or Leave Me

Michael Kaeshammer
Kaeshammer

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Kaeshammer

Kaeshammer

Alert Music
2011

buy
Lovelight

Lovelight

Alert Music
2009

buy
 

Days Like These

Creative Sources
2007

buy
Strut

Strut

Creative Sources
2004

buy

Related Articles

Read A History Of Nothing CD/LP/Track Review
A History Of Nothing
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 21, 2018
Read Turbamulta CD/LP/Track Review
Turbamulta
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2018
Read 3 CD/LP/Track Review
3
by Jim Worsley
Published: July 21, 2018
Read World Domination Vol 1: Furie CD/LP/Track Review
World Domination Vol 1: Furie
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 20, 2018
Read 20 CD/LP/Track Review
20
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 20, 2018
Read Frank Salis CD/LP/Track Review
Frank Salis
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 20, 2018
Read "Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson" CD/LP/Track Review Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 27, 2017
Read "Bright Force" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Force
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2018
Read "New Standards Vol. 3" CD/LP/Track Review New Standards Vol. 3
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 5, 2018
Read "Welcome To This World" CD/LP/Track Review Welcome To This World
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 10, 2018
Read "Meditation Tape" CD/LP/Track Review Meditation Tape
by Samuel Stroup
Published: December 23, 2017
Read "World Domination Vol 1: Furie" CD/LP/Track Review World Domination Vol 1: Furie
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 20, 2018